An argument against wittgenstein and aesthetics

Wittgenstein philosophy as therapy

In using language, he says next in the lectures, in understanding each other—and in mastering a language initially—we do not start with a small set of words or a single word, but rather from specific occasions and activities. It is a multi-faceted, multi-aspected human cultural phenomenon where connections, of diverging kinds, are more in play than causal relations. This indeed would prove sufficient to motivate contempt for the particular case in aesthetic considerations, by misleadingly modeling a dualistic vision of art upon an equally misleading dualistic model of language Hagberg Here again, Wittgenstein shows the great gulf that separates what we actually do with, what we actually say about, works of art, and how we would speak of them if the conceptual pictures and templates with which he has been doing battle were correct. This equilibrium between evaluation and reasons, between the evaluative and the descriptive, between canon and individual work represents, in the end, the enigma of the aesthetic evaluation. But we can now, at the end of his lectures, see that it is a big subject in other senses too: aesthetics is conceptually expansive in its important linkages to the philosophy of language, to the philosophy of mind, to ethics, and to other areas of philosophy, and it resists encapsulation into a single, unifying problem. Their unity, their being twins [6] , is made evident by the fact that they both constitute this condition of meaning. But this mischaracterizes our aesthetic reactions, or what we might call, by analogy to moral psychology, our aesthetic psychology. Wittgenstein rejects the idea that the meaning lies outside aesthetics using reasoning similar to that with which the Referential Theory of Language is rejected. Wagner eds. Why should colors and shapes and patterns, sounds and harmonies and rhythms, come to mean so very much more that they are? This itself strongly suggests that, in this way too, actions come first, where these actions may to invoke Kant's famous distinction either explicitly follow from the rule, or stand in accordance with them but for Wittgenstein in an inexplicit way.

The being-one of ethics and aesthetics, then, can be formulated only in the logical space of possibilities. Both times, however, the couple loses everything because the poor man breaks the pact of silence, revealing to his curious wife the origin of their sudden wealth.

Art seems to be a paradox; it merges the private, phenomenologically internal objects called emotions with physical objects located in the public, observable world. It is the rule of translation of this language into the language of the gramophone record. Kuusela and M.

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Our aesthetic engagements are occasions and activities of just this kind; thus aesthetics, as a field of conceptual inquiry, should start not from a presumption that the central task is to analyze the determinant properties that are named by aesthetic predicates, but rather with a full-blooded consideration of the activities of aesthetic life.

There is now a consistent amount of literature on this topic. Los Angeles: University of California Press. Ogden, Kegan Paul, London Thus, we start from an operation of differentiation identifying differences to arrive at a construction of an axis of comparison and criteria of comparison based on common traits.

But again, Wittgenstein's fundamental concern here is to point out the great conceptual gulf that separates aesthetic perplexities from the methodology of empirical psychology. But how are rules followed in the aesthetic judgment?

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But, in virtue of the logical form, which gives us the essence of the proposition, the expressive context of propositions is that of equivalence. If the paradigm of the sciences which themselves, as he observes in passing, carry an imprimatur of epistemic prestige and the image of incontrovertibility is Newtonian mechanics, and we then implant that model under our subsequent thinking about psychology, we will almost immediately arrive at an idea of a science of the mind, where that science would progress through the gradual accumulation of psychological laws. By this definition the concept of art can hardly exist ontologically and yet works of art exist empirically in the world. Although it is understandable that one might be tempted to solve the problem in this way, not even a Fregean solution is satisfactory. This is what we see, if we only look at the logically specular link Spiegelbild between the totality of the sayable-thinkable the totality of compossible elementary propositions and the totality of the facts. I shall limit myself here to observing that comparing confirms the aesthetic nature of the understanding of form. One might say that music is not aesthetics, but it cannot be denied that it necessarily refers to aesthetics, beginning with its non-verbal-language character, whose meaning can shed light on the meaning of the proposition. Such exacting pre-specifications for satisfaction are possible in narrowly restricted empirical cases where, for example, we wait for two pointers in a vision examination to come into a position directly opposite each other. Cyril Barrett. Returning to the example in the Lectures transcribed by Moore, that is, to a judgment about the arrangement of a garden, we would say that this example suggests that an aesthetic judgment is an evaluation of an arrangement or a composition, and thus an evaluation of a whole that is coherent because it is constructed according to rules, within an historical-cultural context.

New York: Routledge Press, Beversluis,Hackett, Indianapolis. The entire lecture presents then an apparently irreconcilable contrast between absolute and relative judgment.

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Wittgenstein on Aesthetic Understanding